Bisexual people endure the worst mental health problems and
suffer from an "equality gap" compared to gay and lesbian or
straight people, says a report launched yesterday.
But although they experience higher rates of mental distress as
well as invisibility and negative stereotyping, bi people also
spoke of the positive aspects on their sexual orientation. These
included the ability to develop identities and relationships
without restrictions and being well-placed to accept and appreciate
The Bisexuality Report: Bisexual inclusion in LGBT equality and
diversity was led by Dr Meg Barker, Senior Lecturer in Psychology
at the Open University and co-authored by members of BiUK, Bi
Community News and the Bisexual Index.
Amongst key recommendations, the report advises that
organisations should liaise with bisexual communities on issues of
equality and diversity in the same way that lesbian, gay and trans
communities are consulted. It also suggests that bi people should
be included among speakers on panels and forums relating to LGBT
Dr Barker said: "Government policy and equalities agendas
generally consider lesbian, gay and bisexual issues together.
However bisexual people often face prejudice from within lesbian
and gay groups as well as heterosexual communities. They are
invisible - not represented in mainstream media, policy,
legislation or within lesbian and gay communities. Government
and communities need to single out bisexual people as a separate
group in order to address this equality gap."
Welcoming the report, Stonewall Policy Officer Alice Ashworth
said: "We're delighted to endorse this report, which builds on
Stonewall research looking at the distinct experiences of bisexual
people. Bi people will be pleased to know that researchers really
do understand their needs. Now it's important for service
providers, the media and employers to take those needs seriously -
we hope this important work helps them to do that."
The full report is available to download